4 Things the CEO of Impossible Foods got wrong about GMO soy

As the Impossible Burger begins appearing on more and more menus around the U.S., the company behind it, Impossible Foods, has had to make a major change to keep up: the addition of GMO soy. To add insult to injury, the company’s CEO, Pat Brown, is trying to convince people this is somehow a positive change that can help to save the planet.

Brown has claimed that GMO soy is actually “the safest and most environmentally responsible option” as his company prepares to churn out mass quantities of their fake meat burger that can stand up to the flame grilling process at Burger King, among other places. Let’s not forget that this “burger” already uses a genetically engineered yeast known as heme to make its burgers appear to bleed like real meat.

Experts and consumers alike are taking him and his firm to task for this outlandish statement. Here’s a look at four things he got wrong about GMO soy, according to the Organic Consumers Association.

It uses more pesticides

According to Brown, GMO soy is “better for the environment than the alternatives,” but that claim simply doesn’t hold water. In fact, studies have shown that planting GM crops can cause superweeds that resist herbicide to grow, and this means farmers end up using even more herbicide in response. A similar study found that glyphosate-resistant weeds have caused a 28 percent rise in herbicide use on genetically modified soybeans.

Unfortunately, glyphosate also builds up in GM soy, which could explain why lab tests have found residues of glyphosate in the new Impossible Burger at levels that could destroy gut bacteria. It’s also classified as a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization.


It damages biodiversity

The rise in the use of GMO soy has seen more natural weed management methods like crop rotation fall out of favor. Crop monocultures destroy many creatures’ habitats, including bees and birds. Glyphosate herbicides harm the microbial life that thrives in soil, leaving crops more vulnerable to disease. They are toxic to marine organisms, and they also kill off beneficial weeds like the milkweed that Monarch butterflies rely on.

At the same time, as weeds become more resistant to glyphosate, stronger pesticides are being used, and many of these – such as dicamba – have a tendency to drift and ruin non-GM soybeans and other crops nearby.

It’s not nearly as healthy as they claim

Although the vice president of Impossible Foods has called soy safe and nutritious, several scientific studies indicate otherwise. While some fermented soy products like miso may have some healthy characteristics, lots of studies show that soy in general has few, if any, benefits and may even cause harm. For example, diets high in soy can interfere with thyroid medication.

Its safety has not been proven

According to Brown, there is a “scientific consensus that GMOs are safe for consumers and the environment.” He goes on to claim this view has been endorsed by groups like the American Medical Association and the National Academy of Sciences.

However, the American Medical Association’s Council on Science and Public Health has not claimed GMOs are safe. In their statement opposing the labeling of GMOs, they conceded there was a “small potential for adverse events” related to toxins and allergenicity. They even went on to recommend safety assessments be carried out on GM foods before they are released.

Meanwhile, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report concluding that GM has a higher risk of causing unintended changes in food than other methods of crop breeding except mutation breeding.

The truth is that GM foods have not undergone human trials before being released, and no government agency or company is studying their impacts on human health. The problem is so bad that nearly 300 scientists from around the world released a public warning about the lack of scientific consensus on the safety of such food.

Although its makers would like you to believe they’ve accomplished something “impossible,” this burger is little more than Frankenfood masquerading as something healthy. It isn’t good for you or the environment, and their marketing claims simply don’t hold water.

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